Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Your 2009 Giants are not going to be losers: 81 wins

I did not post a series discussion due to a heavy work load, but it worked out well (well, not for Zito) with the Giants winning and reaching 81 wins and guaranteeing that they are not going to have a losing season. And with one more win, they would guarantee ending the season over .500 with a winning record.

If they split the rest of the 12 games, they end up 87-75. They would have to go 9-3 to win 90 games. That seems unlikely given that our starters have started to look ragged, even as the offense has perked up.

Game 2: Cain vs. Doug Davis

The Giants always seem to have problems with Davis, but not this season: they have won two of his three starts against us. As a lefty, the Giants will have to abandon the run producing lineup Bochy has been using against righthanders. Surprise: they are using Franchez's injury to give Frandsen an opportunity to do something. The lineup today is: Velez, Torres, Sandoval, Molina, Uribe, Garko, Rowand, Frandsen, Cain. That's probably our best lineup against LHP.

Cain has pitched OK there (3.88 ERA) but Davis amazingly has pitched well in AZ too, 3.61 ERA this season at home, 4.39 on the road. And 4.08 ERA for his career there, vs. 4.30 career ERA. But Davis has a 4.46 ERA against the Giants lifetime. Odds favor the Giants, but Davis is a good pitcher so you never know if he might have a good game against us, so pretty much a push.

Game 3: Sanchez vs. Kevin Mulvey

Sanchez has a 1.77 ERA in 4 starts this season against AZ. However, 6.05 ERA in Chase in 4 starts and 7 appearances for his career, plus he has come off two straight starts of bad results. Mulvey is a young prospect that they got from the Twins in a trade, nice strikeouts but too many walks and hits for a 9.00 ERA with the D-backs. Yet, he's an OK prospect, and his numbers aren't THAT bad, just his number of hits and homers. Even odds of winning or losing, though Mulvey being a RHP, maybe our lineup can blast him out early.

Giants Thoughts

The wild card looking pretty impossible to get: 4 games back, only 12 left to play; if they simply go 6-6, we have to go 10-2. The good news, if any, is that they play mostly above .500 teams after this series against the Padres: St. Louis, Milwaukee (at 74-76, could theoretically sweep the next three games and be over .500, so I'm counting them), and LAD. Against over .500 teams, they have gone 35-40.

We actually have a winning record against the better clubs, 38-37, they lead because they have dominated the losing clubs while we were merely good. Still, with tougher competition, they could go 5-7 or even 4-8, but even then the Giants would still have to go 8-4. I don't think the Giants has gone 8-4 in any 12 game stretch this season, they have just not been able to sustain any good long win streak.

With the playoffs so improbable, one would hope the Giants might play some of the young players more often. At least Frandsen gets to play 2B, making Renteria sit. And Garko is getting a rare start; he should have really been platooning with Ishikawa, in a rare Ishikawa plays at home and Garko on the road type of split.

That wouldn't have worked over a full season, but with so little of the season left, the Giants probably should have done that, particularly in light of how well Ishikawa hit at home the past week. Given how poorly Garko has hit for his, one has to wonder if that trade costed the Giants a chance at the wild card since Ishikawa at least was hitting very well at home even at the time of the trade, but Garko in 39 AB, 9 starts, 15 games in AT&T has hit .103/.186/.103/.289 there. That has to have costed the Giants in at least 5 of those games.

I wonder how far back we have to be for Posey to get a start? He has gotten three ABs so far and is 1 for 3 with a single and a strikeout. Hopefully they can just give him a lot of starts in the last week of the season. I would also like to see Bowker get a week's worth of starts the last week, and maybe Guzman too at 1B.

What about Runzler and Joaquin? They have done very well in short stints, much like Romo and Hinshaw last season, though both are walking too many so far. Our bullpen look to be even better in 2010, with Wilson, Affeldt, Romo, at least one of Runzler and Joaquin, Medders, Miller, and Valdez.


  1. My problem is this:
    The Giants have one of their best pitching staffs of all friggin' time. They rank last in the league in obp and ops. They rank near the bottom in runs scored and home runs. They walk less than any other team in the majors. Management has utterly failed to produce a lineup that can score runs. How many more games would the giants have won if they had scored 100 more runs? They played all of last year with a putrid offense. They had the entire offseason to do something about it. They knew they would have a post-season winning type pitching staff this year, and they did nothing. For that reason and that reason alone, Sayonara Sabean. He has got to be let go. When pressed for an answer to why he didn't address the hitting in the offseason, he always comes up with excuses. I'm sick to my stomach that we wasted one of the best mlb pitching staffs of the past decade.
    This staff pitched 18 Shutouts!!!! I believe that's 10 more than the nearest contender.

    Sabean should've made something happen. He should've gotten creative. Instead he signed Edgar "freaking" Renteria to a horrid contract.

    I'm seriously sick to my stomach over it.

    On day 1 of the offseason, fire Sabean.

    On day 2 of the offseason, hire a GM.

    On day 3 of the offseason, sign Jason Bay for as much money as he wants.

    On day 4 of the offseason, sign Adam Laroche.

    On day 5 of the offseason, sign Carl Crawford.

    On day 6 of the offseason, release Edgar Renteria and eat the money. You owe it to Giants fans to be accountable for a terrible mistake on your part. We shouldn't have to suffer through any more years with this stiff.

    On day 7 of the offseason, decline the option on Freddy Sanchez.

    On day 8 of the offseason, sign Felipe Lopez. (the guy can actually draw a walk)

    On day 9 of the offseason, tell Bengie Molina that there's not a snowballs chance in hell is league worst OBP comes back to play for the Giants.

    On day 10 of the offseason, trade Aaron Rowand for a sack of baseballs and a "How to draw a walk for dummies" book.

    On day 11 of the offseaon, trade Madison Bumgarner and John "I will always suck and play in the minors" Bowker to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Ben Zobrist.

    Offseason moves completed.

    Next year, guaranfrickin'teed World Series.


  2. At least we agree on one point: the Giants have one of their best pitching staffs of all friggin' time.

    However, none of you people who think you know it all thought this was true about the pitching staff before the season began, many of you wanted to trade off at various times Cain, Sanchez, Zito, and some even listed Lincecum. And none of you Sabean naysayers were predicting an over .500 season.

    So now we should listen to what you think is the right thing to do?

    Who put that staff together? Sabean.

    What are we in the middle of? A rebuilding season.

    The lineup needs rebuilding, clearly. Sabean should be given the opportunity to see if he can build one to go with the great pitching staff.

    It's like you let the designer of a high-power sports car put together one of the all-time best engines and chassis around, and then you want to fire him before it is done because he hasn't put the tires on yet. It takes time to do a rebuild, and it was clear he wasn't done when the season started.

    All of you all complain it's taking too long would have fired Bobby Cox away from the Braves before he was done. It took him 6 years to turn the team around from losing to winning again. It has taken Sabean only 4 years. I woulc say that Cox did pretty well with his job. Why can you people see that we need to let Sabean finish the job?

    Great infield. LaRoche's defense has costed his team roughly one win per season during his career.

    Felipe Lopez also hasn't met a grounder that isn't a potential fielding disaster. He would cost you about 2 wins per season playing 2B full time.

    Zobrist, even better, would cost around 2-3 wins per season playing SS full time.

    None of these guys would hit well enough to make up for all this bad defense.

    Meanwhile, all that great pitching would be stewing over the horrible defense that you put together in the infield.

    And are you serious about trading Bumgarner for Zobrist? You would want to trade a likely ace starter for an average SS? And throw in Bowker? That's smarter than Sabean?

    And, really, sign Jason Bay for as much money as he wants? He isn't that good.

    And it would be hard to sign Carl Crawford when Tampa picks up his option, they would file tampering charges on you.

    There won't be a World Series with an infield costing you upwards of 6 wins per season, no Carl Crawford, plus you wouldn't have enough money to sign all the players you want to sign, you would be over budget by at least $35M to around $50M. I can guarantee a frigging World Series if I over spent by $50M for a year or two.

    That's the problem, people think they know the answer but then don't take the time to think through all the ramifications of their actions before proposing it.

    If you can't even get your scenarios working in any reality, how are we suppose to take you seriously?

  3. Ok, maybe not Felipe Lopez, you got me on that one. I'd pencil in Zobrist at 2nd base for sure.
    Freddy Sanchez and his broke -ss can see himself out of town. He's never proven himself to be durable. Not even close to worth the money.

    Good defense is great and all, but JT Snow didn't win us any world series rings did he.

    Get Marco Scutaro to play short. He'd be a great addition to our team. He drew 90 walks this year. Scores a ton of runs. Commits very few errors.

    Adam Laroche? 2 errors this year. Never been a liability with his defense. I suppose you'd support putting Garko at first. Great move.
    Even better, stick Ishikawa there. Home slice struck out 85 times in 300 abs. Sweet.

    Zobrist for Bumgarner
    .288 24HR 77RBI 83R 16SB .925OPS
    Plus, home slice drew 85BB's, I think that's more than the entire Giants team has drawn since Bonds left.

    As far as errors go, he's committed 6 total errors this year while playing 6 different positions. You could pencil in Zobrist at 2nd base for the next 10years. If you don't think Zobrist is enough for Bumgarner, why not extort more from them then hot shot?

    These are the facts homey.

    Giants have scored 605 runs this year and given up 571.

    Dodgers have scored 726 runs and given up 559.

    So, you've got a surplus of pitchers. Madison Bumgarner can be used to trade for the best available hitter we can find. If you think you can get more for him, be my guest and come up with something. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that the Giants need to sign at least 3 bonafide star offensive players in the offseason and trade for another.

    Do you think the Giants offense as currently constructed is going to magically find a way to score 100 more runs next year? Fat chance brother.

    You are in the minority if you think Sabean should stick around as GM.

    The Giants pitching does not need to get any better. We couldn't have pitched much better this year.

    Sabean FAILED at the trade deadline.
    Pure and simple.
    Absolutely f-ing FAILED.
    And he has failed to build up the offense with either the farm system or trades or free agents.
    He's got to go.

    Sorry brother, I admire the loyalty, but it's time to move on.
    It's cool, I liked Sabean too, still do.


  4. It has nothing to do with loyalty, it all has to do with strategy and economics, two areas I've been trained in and have strong interests in.

    I was ready to dump Sabean in 2003 because of the poor farm system. Then I started actually studying the draft and how it actually works for teams plus observed what Sabean was doing, and I realized 1) how truly difficult it is to build up a farm system with the draft, and 2) how much easier it would be to focus your scarce resources on a flexible capability like pitching.

    So, no, loyalty has nothing to do with it. I want a World Series as badly as anyone else and I think this is the path to multiple successful trips.

    Your strategy is only valid for about two years, then we lose Cain because you just paid all that money to the other players so that we can't re-sign him, but then we don't have Bumgarner to replace him because you just traded him for Zobrist (who I like, by the way, I got him for my keeper league last season before he broke out). Then we lose Lincecum because we have no money for him either because of the contracts you signed with Bay, Crawford, etc.

    And which, by the way, you didn't address in your rebuttal, your magical, mystery extra spending of around $30-50M.

  5. I was in the minority the last time Sabean was awarded his two year extension.

    I explained in my "Hey Series" that when you give up less runs, you need even less runs scored to win an equivalent number of games as other teams.

    Let me run an example. They are roughly allowing 3.7 runs per game. With their roughly 4.0 runs scored, they are suppose to win 87 games. That's roughly what they are headed towards.

    To win 90 games, assuming the pitching stays about the same (which is safe, Sanchez should improve, but that should counter any drops elsewhere), the offense only needs to improve to 4.14 runs scored per game. I think Sandoval hitting well for a full season plus a healthy Sanchez (or equivalent free agent if not healthy) would be more than enough to raise our runs scored to that level.

    To reach 93 wins, we need 4.3 runs scored per game. That would probably require a LF power hitting free agent or Posey to hit to his potential his first season instead of struggling off the bat like Weiters has does season.

    So we are not far away, and we don't need to score 100 extra runs, we only need to score roughly another 25 runs for each 3 games improvement in the standings.

    And, FYI, that is the approximate ratio that most sabers use to determine how many runs for each additional win, typically it's 9-10 runs per additional win.

  6. And that is how I computed the damage those players fielding would do to our defense. I used the runs saved (minus for runs costed) stats for the players from the Fielding Bible II by John Dewan, extended it to 162 games.

    Because errors is so 19th Century, homey, most sabers have moved to either the Fielding Bible or UZR for their info on defense. I used the book because it was handy and I had no time to dig up the UZR.

    Fangraphs uses UZR, which is similar but different methodology, and here are their career UZR/150 (or rough average for a season) numbers for the players you want to get for our infield:

    LaRoche: -4.5 runs
    Lopez: 3.5 runs
    Zobrist: -11.8 runs

    These are not as bad as the Fielding Bible, plus Lopez had a good year defensively, negating his horrible 2008 season.

    Still, you want to stick Zobrist at SS, where he played 13 games this year, with 6 starts, and never had more than 50 starts in any season. That's our starting SS? He's a pretty good fielding this season in RF and 2B, where he's played the most, but not that good at SS.

    I still wouldn't trade Bumgarner for him. Just because you have a surplus does not mean you just go out and give away good talent for OK talent. Plus, he is a key to keeping the Giants competitive into the late 2010's, whereas your plan only keeps us competing for maybe two years, then we will go through another period of deterioration like we did after the 2002 World Series.

    And your plan doesn't even guarantee a World Series, it only means we get into the playoffs, and maybe make it to the World Series, but not winning it.

    Because once you get in, every other team is good too. And no matter how good you are, even random luck will find the other team winning often.

    That's why the key is to build in longevity into your team's peak. We do that by stocking the minors with great starting prospects who are ready to replace our ace starters if necessary along the way, whether through injury or free agency or trade. And that takes time and patience.

    And if your team is good for a long period of time, it gives you more chances to make the playoffs and get a chance to win it all. Quantity is the key here, whereas you blow your load on the next two years or so, and watch the team decline because we lose all our good starters without anyone to take their place.

  7. Next I'll tackle your Zobrist for Bumgarner trade. Zobrist is 28 years old. Despite the Rays being a team in desperate need for a hitter who can hit .287/.400/.524/.924 (which he hit this season), he has basically been a backup player for the prior 3 seasons, hitting:

    2006: .224/.260/.311/.572 in 183 AB
    2007: .155/.184/.206/.391 in 97 AB
    2008: .253/.339/.505/.844 in 198 AB

    Total: .222/.279/.370/.650 in 478 AB with a total 15 HR.

    While he has hit very nicely in the minors, there was nothing in his previous history as a hitter that he will ever have another season like this season, a season where his BABIP was .320 while NOW his career BABIP is .278, suggesting that his prior BABIP was roughly .240. And, since he'll be 29 for us next year, which puts him right in the peak period of performance for many players, he could be, should be, declining at some point very soon, 2010, 2011, 2012.

    For that you want to trade a 20 year old pitcher who has dominated in the minors last season, and was dominating at times this season, plus knows how to pitch when he doesn't have his velocity, but should get his velocity back as most young pitchers have a dead arm period. He has done well in the majors thus far, plus dominated major leaguer hitters in late spring training, including Manny.

    Great move.

  8. Following up on my fielding comment, as I noted, looking at a fielder's errors is totally 19th Century.

    Just because he committed only 2 errors does not give a great indication of how well he handled his position. For example, I would probably have two errors playing any major leaguer position. However, the reason I would only have two errors is because I am so slow to react that I would only be able to get to two balls hit to me (which I would then airmail to somewhere for an error), while all the rest zooms by me for a hit into the outfield.

    Plus, if you have a better arm in the OF than others, then runners will not take extra bases on you, a stat that won't show up for you, but would for your team's stats overall, as you help to keep runs scored down. That also has nothing to do with the number of errors one makes.

    Sometimes a fielder has more errors because he can get to balls that ordinary fielders cannot get to and thus commit more errors, as those are often harder plays to handle.

    I like both the Fielding Bible's and UZR's (another similar concept to UZR is PMR, which Baseball Musing copied from UZR when UZR's creator was working for an MLB team and couldn't update that information annually) methodology. As I noted, UZR is available free on Fangraphs, so I like them, while Fielding Bible is in a book format, so there are no updates on that, though perhaps there might be a website one can subscribe to.

  9. Sanchez was on 73 pitches through 5 1/3 with 9 Ks and Bochy predictably pulls him. Howry comes in and gives up a run anyways... I'm going to bed. If we lose then someone needs to lynch Bochy.

    On a positive note, The defenders are moving to Richmond... no more Dodd stadium. You can go onto the Richmond newspaper's site to submit suggestions for team names or to vote on names or whatever.

  10. Ok, well, you got me on all the sabermetrics and baseball bibles and stuff.

    The dodgers have scored 726 runs or so and given up 559. They will be as good next year, if not better. We've got to score more runs to compete. Where will those runs come from?

    I'm frustrated. The Giants need offense. Bumgarner for Zobrist maybe isn't a good idea. If your pitching staff is as good as the Giants, you should be in the playoffs. Sanchez for Alderson is leaning towards being a horrible trade.

    What are your ideas for the Giants lineup next season?

    We've got to agree that the Giants need at least 2 more 25HR 100rbi sluggers in the lineup than they have now. They have to field well, agreed. I'm not that big of a fan of patience now in order to build for the future. The problem with that theory is that the future never comes, it becomes the theme song year after year year.

    Let's take advantage of this window in the next few years and go for a World Series now. There's no way to predict that Lincecum and Cain and company will be around forever. They could get hurt. They may demand a trade. Who knows. These next two years is our time. We should swing for the fences imho.

  11. Thanks Matt, for passing the info.

    Frankly, Sanchez was disaster bad his last two starts, so I don't blame Bochy for pulling him fast (the Yahoo pitch count had Sanchez around 85-90 pitches for yesterday's game) and trying to preserve a tight game. Bringing in Howry instead of someone else, I can blame him, though at this point, Howry was probably the freshest arm in the bullpen.

    I've already written about the move to Richmond already - huge improvement, the park there was neutral when the previous team played there. If I thought the Giants would stay affiliated there, I might suggest a name, but the new owner appears to want to affiliate somehow with a local team, preferably Washington but maybe Baltimore too, so I think I would pass.

  12. BTW, thanks for being patient with my comments. I really do care about the Giants playing winning Baseball. Some positive thoughts then about the Gigantes.

    I love how Schierholtz plays right field. The runners he's thrown out this year have been exciting plays. He appears to have a very accurate and strong arm. I remember one game when he should have thrown the ball to the cutoff man instead of going for the putout but other than that, I really like the way this kid plays defense. His inside the park homerun was also a lot of fun. Great call by Fleming on the radio for that play. I look forward to seeing more Schierholtz next year. Hopefully we can get a full season of Schierholtz. Do you think he'll get 500ab's next year? What kind of numbers do you think he'll put up at the plate?

    I like Bumgarners seemingly effortless delivery. He doesn't seem to expend a lot of energy when he throws. I like that. And the fact that he's always around the strike zone is a thing of beauty. Can't wait to see what he can do. Don't know why I jumped to the conclusion of trading him. I was just frustrated the other day.

    There's something I like about Eli Whiteside. Do we have something with him that we've overlooked because of how promising Buster Posey is?

    Velez and Torres have been fun to watch at times. Velez was a good story this year. I just don't know how both of these guys fit into the Giants future plans.

    Seems as though there will be a lot of tough decisions to make in the offseason. I'm glad I'm not the GM. I'm sure a lot of Giants fans are glad I'm not the GM either. ; )

    One more thing, besides Posey, what other promising offensive stars do the Giants have in their farm system? Thomas Neal? Bowker?

  13. Anon, I've already given my thoughts on how the Giants offense should improve next season, but I'll go over it again.

    I think the Giants will probably pursue a LF, maybe Bay, probably more Ankiel and Nady. Not big upgrades, but a good improvement over who we have now.

    Whatever happens in LF, I think we will see Velez become a Chone Figgins type who rotates between LF, CF, maybe RF, and 2B. He'll be our leadoff guy probably.

    The reason I see Sabean acquiring a LF is that then Bowker and Schierholtz would battle for RF, and the loser would become the backup pushing to get starting time. Schierholtz had one nice streak but has been pretty bad much of this season. Bowker had a great season in AAA, but hasn't been able to bring that to the majors in short spurts this season. Acquiring a LF would reduce the risk that either fails to do well in the majors.

    2B is either Franchez if he is healthy enough, or a free agent if not. Either way, the player should be a huge improvement over the poor offense we had there in 2009.

    SS should be Renteria and assuming he's healthy in 2010 - big assumption given how Roberts worked out - he should be a much better hitter. Once he said he was healthy, he hit great for a while, before his arm started hurting him again.

    1B will be a battle between Ishikawa and Garko. It could result in a platoon but one or the other should probably win the position with the other being on the bench, much like August.

    3B is obviously Sandoval and he should be improved in 2010. He started figuring out major league pitching in June, and has been hitting at a 30-40 HR pace since then, though his leg injury slowed him down this month. Assuming he works on his overall health and conditioning - and the Giants are advising that and he's been great in working on things - he should be healthy and keep his high performance level all season long.

    It is not a major leap, but they don't need a major leap to be competitive for the playoffs.

  14. And the D-gers won't be so good in 2010. Sure, they have their young players, but they had a pretty good 2009; I don't see them getting even better. However, they benefited from very good hitting from Hudson and Pierre in April and May, something that should not happen in 2010, and they got good again in September, but from short-term trades that they won't be able to duplicate for all of 2010.

    Also, both Billingsley and Kershaw are having problems late this season that does not bode well for the future. And to be scrambling for starters like they were, they burned a lot of bullets for the future.

    And their bullpen was showing cracks too.

    Their team was basically a .500 team from June to August, and has only been 35-29 in the second half, a .547 winning percentage (roughly a 88 win season like us). And that's only with the short term moves they did. They would have been passed up by Colorado for the lead if they didn't make all the moves they did. But they cannot afford to keep all that talent for all of 2010.

    Yes, we should do something to take advantage of the pitching we have. That is why Sabean signed the guys he did for 2009, to improve certain areas, while allowing the youngsters to develop in other areas.

    However, it's the ying and yang of planning for now versus the future. I don't think a rebuilding team so early in the rebuilding process should trade away great prospects, like a Bumgarner, that is too great a risk to take, particularly for such a small return like Zobrist, who is probably already at his peak.

    The only way I would trade Bumgarner is if we got a proven young power hitter who is signed or controlled long-term. Zobrist is a great risk to regress from his 2009 and is already 29 next season.

    But still, as the Hardball Times article noted (which I referenced in my Hey Series), having good defense is better than good hitting, because when you have good pitching (i.e. defense), it takes that much less runs to win with it, while with a poor pitching staff, it takes that much more offense to win with it.

    So unless we are getting Pujols for Bumgarner, I would rather keep him, add him to the mix, which would either make our pitching staff incredible, or would free us to trade off a Sanchez, a Cain, maybe even a Lincecum, depending on who is signing with us long-term, and who isn't.

    That is who we should be planning to trade, someone with 1-2 years left of control who won't sign with us long term, get into a Haren type of trade where we get a bunch of prospects to fuel a long run of success.

    But like I said, it's all a process with a long-term view. What you wanted to do was blow everything out to win in the next couple of years. If that don't work out, then we'll probably repeat our 2005-2008 period again of declining results.

    I want the team to build to a good level, then sustain that level for a long while, first with Bumgarner and Wheeler (plus hopefully someone down low developing) coming up to sustain the peak, then while winning there won't be good draft picks, and hopefully we can trade off good experienced starters and get a bundle of prospects who can help fuel the next peak of performance.

  15. Anon, no problem. I know you care, I know others care, but as friends don't let friends drive drunk, I share my feelings about the club with others because this is how I think things should be viewed. I know I can't make the horse drink, however.

    I love Schierholtz's defense too. If it was up to me, I would have started him this year by trading Winn, but with Neukom's decree that this had to be a .500-ish or better season, Sabean couldn't chance it with rookies (or unprovens) already at LF, 2B, 3B, 1B. Who knew that Winn would start declining this season?

    I think Schierholtz, if given the ABs and starting position, could hit in the 800 OPS range, much like Winn, except that he would have much more power plus play similar defense. However, I was very disappointed that he's been mostly bad this season, except for a great spurt in May/June that helped the team make its jump. If it was up to me, I would just give him RF for 2010 and see what happens.

    But given how Sabean has operated before, and particularly if Neukom only picks up Sabean's option, keeping him on a one year leash again instead of giving him a two year extension (I totally see that happening), I think to be safe, he would need to sign a power hitting LF, like Ankiel or Nady, which would mean that Bowker and Schierholtz would battle for RF. And Bowker was pretty good in AAA this season, so I'm not sure that Nate will win. Still, I see him getting a lot of AB.

    Lewis, however, I think will be around just in case both Bowker and Schierholtz falter, and if they don't, then he's probably traded late in spring training.

    I love Bumgarner too, I would rather we keep him and see what happens.

    I have heard a lot about Eli that I like, and he's done some great things with us, but he's no hitter, so he's a backup guy. That said, I have been changing my thinking and maybe he would be good as our backup for 2010, and he could pass on his knowledge and experience to Posey to help him with his catching defense. And, who knows, maybe Posey can give Eli some hitting tips.

    As I noted, I think Velez will take on a Figgins (or closer to home, Pedro Feliz) role in 2010.

    Torres is a journeyman. He's had some nice moments for us, but he's a 5th OF only. I'm not sure if he'll be around in 2010, and it could be that the Giants decide to use Lewis in that role instead of trading him as I think they might, as he appears to be starting to have a bad attitude.

    Yes, there will be a lot of tough decisions to make. And, frankly, there are plenty of Giants fans who believe like you do, and that is why I feel it is a duty for me to spread my thoughts around, because I think it is sound thinking, but if I should be off, then someone would correct me with something logical that makes sense to me. Many have replied, but none have made what I feel is better sense. And, in a way, writing my comments around lets me test out my ideas over and over again in my head, to find the wrong assumption, the flaw in my logic. I know I'm not perfect, so I cling to the logic.

  16. Promising offensive stars for the Giants. Well, you named a few, definitely Posey, Bowker, Neal, in that order. I covered most of them in another post: http://obsessivegiantscompulsive.blogspot.com/2009/09/giants-minors-great-2009-season.html

    I still like Villalona, and hope that it was one of his homeboys who was trigger happy and not him, but this lapse in judgement is not encouraging, though he's still only 19 years old.

    I still like Frandsen, and should we not keep Franchez, I hope they give him another chance to start at 2B, while keeping Velez in a super-utility role.

    I like Guzman offensively, but think that his defense would not hold up in the majors. I don't know why they didn't do this, but I would have put him in LF to see what he could do there. They might in 2010 if they don't sign a free agent, but 1B now has Ishikawa and Garko there, so I don't see him beating that in spring training.

    Rohlinger had a nice year, but they look like they are preparing him to me a utility MI with power on the bench.

    In AA, I would keep my eye on Brett Pill. He did nicely there, though not great, but he's just turned 25, so he'll be 25 for next season and probably in AAA. Since he's a 1B, that's another reason to move Guzman to LF in 2010. I've given up on EME.

    Brock Bond is another to watch. Nice defense at 2B, had a nice season offensively, an improvement over the previous two seasons, and he's only 24 for next season and should be in AAA too. He could be a good reason the Giants don't sign a free agent if Franchez is out, you start Frandsen in the majors and if he fizzles, Bond could come up and try next if he's hitting.

    I liked Roger Kieschnick and Darren Ford in Advanced A. Not that they were anything special, but nicely enough to keep an eye out for them. But they are too far down to really get too exciting about either.

    Thomas Neal, however, only 22 for 2010, did well enough to be excited about. However, one disturbing thing was that his offensive output dropped as the season wore on. Hopefully that is because he has not built up the stamina to last through a professional season yet, but that's not a great sign. 2010 will make things a little clearer, particularly since it'll be in Richmond, a neutral park.

    Despite his poor 2009 season, I still like Ehire Adrianza. SS, had a nice rookie league in 2008, poor in Augusta in 2009, but still able to take a lot of walks while only 19 in a league of pitchers who are at least 3-4 years older than he is. And it was his first full season league too. I would keep an eye out on him for 2010.

    Down lower, I would keep an eye out for: 3B Drew Biery, RF Francisco Peguero, 3B Chris Dominguez (draft pick this year, C Hector Sanchez, SS Julio Izturis (lesser known signing year of Villalona), RF Rafael Rodriguez. No one looks like a sure thing, but many are promising, many taking a lot of walks.

  17. I am officially on the Brock Bond bandwagon.

    One year contract for FSanchez max.

  18. Great Info : )
    Keep it up
    This is fun
    Go Giants

    There's no magic solution it seems.
    Having the top ranked farm system is very encouraging.
    Patience is definitely a virtue.

  19. I know I'm a couple days behind on the topic, but I'm completely with OGC - very foolish to trade Bumgarner unless we get many riches back. No Bengie next year, makes no sense. I like Bay a lot, but he'll be WAY overpriced. And the Dodgers will drop a lot in the standings - Pierre was a fluke, Manny is about to drop off a cliff - they're a perfect example of a team where everything went right. That's not likely to happen again.

    An Ankiel type in the outfield - that's all the team needs. The pitching staff is insanely good, just looking at the WHIP line in every day's boxscore will tell you that. And they'll only get better. Cain, Lincecum or Sanchez haven't hit their ceiling yet. Imagine.

    But Bochy has to go - the Giants should be going for it the next couple of years, and while he may be good for Bonds-transitioning and holding hands, that's over. Time for a manager that manages to win, not one who wins in spite of himself.



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